Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ongoing GG Controversy (encore), and Back on the East Coast

I missed it because I was on a train from Toronto to Montreal, but Monday morning, George Murray appeared on Q to discuss the problem(s) of literary juries. He did a nice job framing the whole thing, even if he did say that my proposal for a points system is "ridiculous." He's not the first to do so, but I still think it's a perfectly viable method of conducting business--a method that is in fact used by other prizes, including the BC Book Prizes. His complaint about it is that it would eliminate the discussion, but as it stands no one gets to hear the discussion but the jurors anyway, so it's not much of a loss. Also, I kind of doubt that too many jurors' minds have been changed over the years by passionate testimony on a book's behalf. There's a bit more discussion about it over at Bookninja.

It's great to be back in the Maritimes. Had a nice trip from Toronto; after spending a few lovely hours at the home of Carmine Starnino, Jennifer Varkonyi and their new son Lucca, we boarded the train for Halifax, where I caught up on news with a bunch of my railroad colleagues and where said colleagues gushed over Kaleb. The train got in pretty close to on-time; after checking in to our hotel, we headed out to have supper at an old friend's place with him and his daughter. After that, I headed out to a nearby bar for an annual informal railroad staff party. Good timing. I really like the people I worked with out here and I'm looking forward to working with them again next year.

Today we're off to the seaside town Mahone Bay to spend a couple of nights with Alice Burdick and her family. Then on Friday we're launching our kid's book in Halifax at Local Jo Cafe: 5 pm, 2959 Oxford St.

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